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Backyard Birding

 Have you stopped to notice the animals that come through your backyard? Nature is all around us and sometimes we are moving too fast to enjoy it. Birds are some of the more fascinating creatures and taking time to enjoy them can be just what we need.

Key Program Information

Create a bird sanctuary

Wisconsin is home or throughway to more than 400 species of birds, yet many of us are only familiar with a few species. In this course, learn what steps to take to attract birds to your yard or even window feeders whether it’s those that spend their winters here, the songbirds that arrive in spring, or the summer hummingbirds that are a thrill to watch. Ornithologist, author and master birder Steve Betchkal will cover topics including attracting birds to your yard, making your yard a bird sanctuary, backyard bird identification, and identifying birds by sound. Each session will have plenty of time for Q&A. At the end of the course, there will be an optional field session at Beaver Creek Reserve with Steve Betchkal. Grab your binoculars and insect repellent and learn where to look and what to listen for from an expert!   If you enjoy birds and would like more feathered friends to visit your yard or feeders, this is the class for you! 

bird seen through a snowy frame

Who should attend

Anyone interested in learning more about birds in Northwest Wisconsin. Enrollment is open only to those 18 and over.


  • picture of Steve Betchkal

    Steve Betchkal is the author of six books – Walk the Walk, Camp the Camp, Bird the Bird, All of This & Robins Too, Make Birds Not War, Wisconsin Birding Trails, & Cat Tales. In his 30-year career as a journalist he has produced 11,000 TV stories and hundreds of articles about birds and outdoor adventures for newspaper and magazine, and has won 70 awards for excellence in journalism including five Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award for news writing. 

    An ornithologist and master birder who is fluent in bird – Steve is a veteran of five of Wisconsin’s 92 Breeding Bird Surveys, has hiked/camped/backpacked/traveled 49 U.S. states, Mexico, St. Lucia, Costa Rica, 45 National Forests, 78 National Wildlife Refuges, 71 National Parks, and four Canadian provinces in pursuit of wild birds. In 2017 he worked in the Galápagos for Lindblad-National Geographic.

    He is the president of Gaylord Nelson Audubon, founder of MartinMart and Welcome Back Bird Day, designer and writer of the Hubbard Scientific Industries Bio2 “Inflatable Pigeon” classroom resource, contributor to John Feith's "Birds, Birds, Birds: An Indoor Birdwatching Field Trip,” and the producer of The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology’s Bird TV. 

Disability Accommodations

UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education encourages individuals with disabilities or other special needs to participate in our programs whenever possible. If you require a reasonable accommodation, please notify us at least two weeks in advance of the program so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Contact Continuing Education at 715-836-3636 / toll-free 866-893-2423, or use the Wisconsin Relay System (711). All requests are kept confidential.

An EEO/Affirmative Action employer, University of Wisconsin provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA requirements.

Cancellation Policy

We understand life happens. Should you need to cancel your registration, you may substitute someone to take your place, at any time, at no cost to you. If we cancel a program, we’ll give you your money back.

If your program is 14 or more days away:
You may transfer once to any currently available program – no charge!
If you have to cancel, you will receive a refund, minus a 20% administrative fee.

If your program is less than 14 days away:
You may transfer once to any currently available program, plus a 20% transfer fee.
If you cancel, you will not receive a refund.

If you are registered and do not attend the program, you are responsible for the full fee.

Substitution, refund or transfer requests must be submitted via email or phone call to UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education.

There are currently no upcoming dates for this program. To make sure you are notified when dates are scheduled, please join our mailing list.

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